Featured Q & A with David Green | The HR Tech Weekly®

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function: Q&A with David Green

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function

Today our guest is David Green, a true globally respected and award winning writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work.

David is the Global Director, People Analytics Solutions at IBM Watson Talent. He is also the longstanding Chair, of the Tucana People Analytics conference series, the next edition of which – the People Analytics Forum, takes place in London on 29-30 November.

David has spoken at conferences and/or worked with people analytics leaders in over 20 cities in the past year including San Francisco, Sydney, London, Paris, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Moscow and Berlin. This affords David with a unique perspective and insight into what’s working, what’s not, and what’s forthcoming in the field of people analytics.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

1. Hi David, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. The year of 2017 is approaching its end. What made a difference this year in the field of people management and HR technologies?

Thanks Alexey, it is a pleasure to speak with you. For me, 2017 has been a pivotal year in the field as the realisation that people analytics is core to the future of the HR function has become far more widespread. In one of his recent articles (see here), Josh Bersin described people analytics “as the lynchpin of success for HR in the next few years”, and I have to say I completely agree – although that probably doesn’t surprise you!

We still have some way to go in terms of widespread adoption and just as importantly in embedding analytics and data-driven decision making within organisational culture, but the acceptance that this is core rather than peripheral is a welcome momentum shift.

Elsewhere, the move from many companies to develop programs and technologies that personalise the candidate/employee experience in areas such as talent acquisition, onboarding, learning and mobility is also positive. It’s about time that we have rich and personalised experiences at work similar to those we already enjoy as consumers. Data and analytics plays a foundational role in this.

2. People analytics is an area of profound interest to business leaders. What do you see as the main trends in the people analytics space?

You are right to highlight the heightened interest levels in people analytics Alexey. I’d summarise the main trends as follows:

  • More and more organisations getting started with people analytics – 2017 seems to have been the year that the talking about when to start analytics stopped and the actual hard work in creating capability began for many organisations. So, the number of organisations in the early stages of their people analytics journeys is on the increase and many will face similar challenges in terms of data quality, skills and capabilities, stakeholder management/education and project prioritisation. Our recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute research on HR Analytics Readiness in Europe demonstrated though that most organisations still have a long way to go.
  • Developing an analytical culture: this is key for organisations that want to develop sustainable capability in people analytics. This means exciting, equipping and enabling HR Business Partners, and clearly demonstrating and communicating the impact of people analytics initiatives within the organisation. This is the focus of many companies that have built initial capability and success in people analytics.
  • Ethics and privacy concerns: this continues to be the most important and challenging aspect for practitioners. Research from Insight222 reveals that 81% of people analytics projects are jeopardised by ethical and privacy concerns. With the EU GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018 and the emergence of new employee data sources, focus on this area will continue to be high.
  • The consumerisation of HR – as per my earlier point, many organisations that have developed people analytics capability are looking at ways to understand and improve the employee experience. In addition to the personalised machine-learning based technologies referenced earlier, this includes efforts to understand and analyse employee sentiment. You can’t do either of these things without analytics so those organisations that have already developed people analytics capability are in pole position to take advantage here.
  • Organisational network analysis (ONA) – interest in ONA has exploded in 2017 as organisations seek to better understand team effectiveness and productivity. Practitioners interested in this burgeoning area of people analytics should check out the work of Rob Cross, recent articles by Josh Bersin and vendors like TrustSphere, Humanyze and Worklytics. Expect interest in this area to continue to soar in 2018.

3. On the eve of People Analytics Forum 2017 could you slightly open the curtain on what makes an ideal agenda in modern HR analytics, workforce planning and employees insights then?

I always enjoy chairing the Tucana People Analytics World and People Analytics Forum events as the agenda is always cognisant of the fact that the diversity of delegates in terms of where they are with analytics varies widely. As such, the three tracks: Start (for those getting started), Grow (for those building capability and looking for deeper insight) and Advance (for advanced practitioners and those exploring new data sources) means there is something for everyone. This is hugely important as in my experience the people analytics community is highly collaborative and there is a mutual desire amongst practitioners for shared learning. The Tucana events provide this in spades.

4. It was heard that some attendees of conferences recently formed a viewpoint that the slow adoption of analytics has been because of a lack of practical cases delivered by speakers. Your point of view on the problem will be of great influence.

I haven’t really heard this viewpoint from many. I would argue the contrary in fact that most of the conferences I attend feature numerous and diverse case studies from practitioners. I think you need a balance of speakers from the practitioner, consultant, vendor and analyst communities as each provides a slightly different perspective – indeed much of the innovation in the space is coming from the vendor community. As such, at the conferences I chair, speak and attaned there is normally much to inspire delegates whatever their maturity level when it comes to people analytics. Of course, there is a distinction between being inspired and immitation as each organisation faces different business challenges and has unique cultures. If I could offer one piece of advice to practitioners, whatever their maturity level, it is to channel their efforts on the key business challenges that have the biggest impact within their organisations.

5. What new data-driven HR solutions are on your watchlist and why?

As I mentioned before much of the innovation in the people analytics space is coming from the vendor community and I always recommend to practitioners to keep abreast of the latest developments here. Data-driven companies to look at include: TrustSphere, Alderbrooke Group, Aspirant, Glint, Visier, Crunchr, Workometry, Peakon, OrgVue, Headstart, Worklytics, Humanyze, Qlearsite, One Model, hiQ Labs, Cultivate and StarLinks; and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!

If you’ll forvive the self-promotion, I would like to add that IBM is also doing some groundbreaking work in this space through bringing Watson to HR, particularly in the talent acquisition and the employee experience areas – see more here.

6. What advice would you give to HR professionals looking to boost their careers within the people analytics space?

Well, firstly you should get yourself along to the People Analytics Forum and read my articles on LinkedIn!

Seriously, analytics is a core capability for the future HR practitioner and it won’t be long before the likes of CIPD and SHRM build this into their educational programs. Until then, find some courses (like the Wharton School course on Coursera), attend some conferences, read some books (like The Power of People and the Basic Principles of People Analytics), and seek to learn from analytics professionals both in and outside of HR.

For me, HR is one of the most exciting places in business to work in at the moment and the increased use of analytics and data-driven decision making is one of the reasons why I believe this to be the case.

Why do HR Professionals use Recruitment Marketing tools?


Recruitment Marketing software offer solutions for some of the biggest recruiting goals and challenges. While some of the biggest recruiting challenges used to be messy and disorganized hiring processes, this is not the case anymore.

Recruitment Marketing features help finding, attracting, engaging, nurturing candidates and converting them into applicants. These problems have become much more challenging and worrying than managing job applicants and streamlining selection process – tasks handled by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Recruitment platforms such as recruitment marketing software are becoming an inevitable recruiting tools of every modern recruiter.

Looking for a Recruiting Software? Here is our new Guide for Buying a Recruiting Software.

Solutions offered by Recruitment Marketing platforms

Overall Talent Acquisition strategy usually consist of pre and post application faze. Recruitment Marketing methods take care of the pre application stage, while Applicant Tracking System come in place after you have candidates in your talent pool.

That being said, if you are struggling to attract best talent, you need a Recruitment Marketing platform that will help you move candidates through the first 3 stages of Candidate Journey: Awareness, Consideration, Interest and bring them to the Application stage.

Recruitment Marketing platforms help recruiters find, attract, engage, nurture and convert high-quality applicants.

Solutions to Find high-quality candidates

  • One click job distribution
  • Social Media job promotion
  • Web sourcing
  • Referral programs

Solutions to Attract high-quality applicants

  • Employer Branding
  • Job marketing
  • Social Media recruiting
  • Branded career site
  • Search engine optimisation for job descriptions (SEO)

Solutions to Engage and Nurture high-quality candidates

  • Candidate Relationship Management
  • Engaging Email recruiting campaigns
  • Talent Networking
  • Career site Team Blogging
  • Career events
  • Talent community events
  • Educational recruiting content such as webinars, ebooks, courses
  • Recruiting email campaigns

Solutions to Convert high-quality applicants

  • Simple online application form
  • HR Analytics
  • Reporting
  • Email notifications and campaigns
  • Quick apply options

Want to know more about Recruitment Marketing? Visit our HR Blog.


What Makes an Impressive Business Leader?

Before a business can reach its organizational goals, there must be someone at the helm guiding them to that finish line. If a team is without a leader, things can fall into chaos quickly – people don’t know who’s in charge (and then suddenly everyone is), what needs to be done, what has been done, what deadlines must be met, who should be talked to, who should do what, etc. Total chaos will reign over a team and a business that does not know who’s at the head of things.

But with a leader – and an effective one at that, things operate better, smoother, more efficiently, and within schedule. There is someone who is on top of everything and is making sure that things that need to be done are being worked on, tasks are delegated properly and to the right people, deadlines are reminded often, etc. There is organization when someone is spearheading things along.

Being able to control the flow of work is not the only thing that a good business leader should be able to do. Many people can lead others to an organized workflow, but only an impressive business leader can take a step further for the team. An impressive business leader can initiate action, motivate employees, provide guidance, create confidence in others, boost the morale, and gets everyone involved in the task at hand.

To truly understand what is it that makes an impressive business leader, check out this infographic by Healthy Business Builder.

How HR Professionals Can Get Creative With Design Thinking

In an illuminating TEDTalk “The way we think about work is broken”, Barry Schwartz encourages us to think about whether it’s human nature that creates institutions or institutions which can shape human nature. In traditional factory lines work was based simply on the exchange of labor for money. However, money doesn’t have to be the only thing that drives people to get up and go to work every morning.

Rather than creating a workplace in which people go to do the bare minimum, designing an institution that allows and facilitates people’s innate need to use their creativity, find purpose and reach their potential will shape the way people feel about work.

The key is to begin questioning everything.

In the race to create more agile, engaged and innovative organizations, companies are now placing the heavy task on HR to revamp outdated processes. Many HR innovators have taken this moment to do some long needed cleaning out of failed institutions and construction of new processes that reflect the unique people and purpose running through their organization.

Despite what you may think, this is not reserved for companies with large budgets to spend on Google style perks. Even without the budget, you too can transform your organization in a positive way.

Today’s HR innovators don’t take any process, institution or practice for granted. The only way to discover what truly works best is to put yourself into the shoes of the people who work and run your organization and open your mindset to new possibilities. While it may sound intimidating, this isn’t a call to all out anarchy. Design thinking is a highly ordered approach which will provide you with a new lens through which you can view your organization.

What is design thinking?                                             

Until now design thinking has mostly been used to create a customer focused approach to designing and marketing products. However, today HR professionals are realizing they can use this methodology to design better employee experiences. In fact, the adoption of this process has had so much success that Deloitte’s Global Human Capital trends recognized design thinking as one of the top trends to follow.

According to Tim Brown, CEO of international design firm IDEO:

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

The process encourages you to look at three main touch points within the organization to better understand what’s needed. These are the processes, people and technology that your employees come into contact with at each stage of their journey throughout the organization.

Which processes are cumbersome? Which need to be abolished? How much support do your people receive from team leads or peers? Are there new solutions which can make your employees’ lives easier?

There are two tools which can help you get into the design thinking mindset. One is employee journey mapping. This allows you to map out the stages and assess touchpoints at each step using your people data. The other is employee personas. These fictional characters allow you to visualize and put yourself into the mindset of your employee.

Creating a people-centric performance management process

Performance management is one of the most important cornerstones of your organization. Having a strong system in place that will help your people develop and grow new skills will give your company the advantage it needs to meet industry changes head on. At the same time, helping your workforce improve also keeps engagement levels high.

Rather than simply an exchange of money for services, today’s employees are looking to exchange their time and effort for growth and learning opportunities. In a recent survey, Gallup found that 87 percent of millennials considered professional development or career growth opportunities to be very important in a job.

Professional growth should be seen as an exchange between employees and the organization, but rather than money, it’s about an exchange of value. Valuable knowledge and skills in return for help further developing and honing those skills.

Think about the journey

 Think about the 3 different touchpoints (processes, people, technology) your workforce comes into contact with during performance reviews. How do they impact their experience?


  • Who benefits? Is it seen as a process that helps the company identify top and low performers? Or as a process that is meant to help individuals grow and develop?
  • How long does it take from the time when they fill out their self-assessment until the time when they receive their results?


  • Who gives and receives feedback?
  • Do managers receive upward feedback from reports?
  • Do people receive training on how to give feedback actionable?


  • What kind of performance management tools do people use during the process?
  • Is the process straightforward and user-friendly?

View the process through the lens of your personas

Everyone will have different objectives, pains and also different experiences with each touchpoint they encounter during the process. Think about the journey from each different point of view.

Customer personas are fictional characters used by marketers to represent different types of customers. They’re often given names and bios including their likes, dislikes, pains and objectives based on data collected from customer feedback, interviews and focus groups. The idea is that having a few fictional customers that represent larger interest groups allows you to optimize processes for a wider audience. For example:

Julie the new manager:

  • Wants to give her team helpful feedback that will encourage them to improve
  • Nervous about giving constructive feedback to a few team members who used to be peers
  • Expects to have a better idea of who her top performers are and where the team needs to improve at the end of the process
  • Also wants to gain insights into her performance as a team lead

Paul the millennial employee:

  • Expects to find out what his strengths are in the team
  • Has trouble analyzing the feedback he received and creating a strong development plan
  • Wants to receive more feedback outside of performance reviews

Anna the new tech hire:

  • Wants to be recognized for her achievements
  • Expects a fair balanced assessment but encountered bias in the assessments she received at her previous company: does not trust the process
  • Wants to be able to receive feedback on cross-collaborative projects she participated in


When redesigning your performance management process consider how you can optimize it to meet the needs of your different personas. The best way to gain a full picture is to combine these two tools by mapping out the different touchpoints (processes, people, technology) your personas would encounter during your current performance management process. Consider how each would be impacted differently.

The insights provided by this exercize will enable you to redesign performance management at your organization in a way that takes into account your wider workforce. There is no one size fits approach to performance management. Design thinking can help you to create an experience that fits your unique organization.

For more insights, join this free email course.

How to find the right candidate for a job?

Finding the right job candidates is one of the biggest recruiting challenges. Recruiters and other HR professionals that don’t use best recruiting strategies are often unable to find high-quality job applicants. With all the changes and advances in HR technologies, new recruiting and hiring solutions have emerged. Many recruiters are now implementing these new solutions to become more effective and productive in their jobs.

According to Recruitment strategies report 2017 done by GetApp, the biggest recruiting challenge in 2017 was the shortage of skilled candidates.

The process of finding job candidates has changed significantly since few years ago. Back then, it was enough to post a job on job boards and wait for candidates to apply. Also called “post and pray” strategy.

Today, it is more about building a strong Employer Branding strategy that attracts high quality applicants for hard-to-fill roles. Today, it is more about building a strong Employer Branding strategy that attracts high quality applicants for hard-to-fill roles.

Steps for finding the right job candidates

1. Define your ideal candidate a.k.a candidate persona 

Not knowing who your ideal candidate, or candidate persona, is, will make finding one impossible. To be able to attract and hire them, you need to know their characteristics, motivations, skills and preferences.

Defining a candidate persona requires planning and evaluation. The best way is to start from your current talent starts or your best employees. Learn more about their personalities, preferences, motivations and characteristics. Use these findings to find similar people for your current and future job openings.

Not sure how to do this? Here’s our free guide for defining your candidate persona.

2. Engage your current employees

You probably already know that your current employees are your best brand ambassadors. Same as current product users are best ambassadors for product brands. Their word of mouth means more than anyone else’s. Encourage their engagement and let them communicate their positive experiences to the outside. Remember, your employees are your best ambassadors, and people trust people more than brands, CEO and other C-level executives.

Involving your current employees can not only help you build a strong Employer Branding strategy, but it can also help your employees feel more engaged and satisfied with their jobs.

3. Write a clear job descriptions

Even though many recruiters underestimate this step, it is extremely important to do it right! Writing a clear and detailed job description plays a huge role in finding and attracting candidates with a good fit. Don’t only list duties, responsibilities and requirements, but talk about your company’s culture and Employee Value Proposition.

To save time, here are our free job description templates.

4. Streamline your efforts with a Recruitment Marketing tool

If you have right tools, finding the right job candidates is much easier and faster than without them. Solutions offered by recruitment marketing software are various, and with them you can build innovative recruiting strategies such as Inbound Recruiting and Candidate Relationship Management to improve Candidate Experience and encourage Candidate Engagement.

Sending useful, timely and relevant information to the candidates from your talent pool is a great way for strengthening your Employer Brand and communicating your Employee Value Proposition.

5. Optimize your career site to invite visitors to apply

When candidates want to learn about you, they go to your career site. Don-t loose this opportunity to impress them. Create content and look that reflects your company’s culture, mission and vision. Tell visitors about other employees success and career stories.

You can start by adding employee testimonials, fun videos, introduce your team, and write about cool project that your company is working on.

Don’t let visitors leave before hitting “Apply Now” button.

6. Use a recruiting software with a powerful sourcing tool

Today, there are powerful sourcing tools that find and extract candidates profiles. They also add them directly to your talent pool. Manual search takes a lot of time and effort, and is often very inefficient. With a powerful sourcing tool, you can make this process much faster, easier and more productive. These tools help you find candidates that match both the position and company culture.

7. Use an Applicant Tracking System

Solutions offered by applicant tracking systems are various, but their main purpose is to fasten and streamline the selections and hiring processes. By fastening the hiring and selection process, you can significantly improve Candidate Experience. With this, you can increase your application and hire rate for hard-to-fill roles. Did you know that top talent stays available on the market for only 10 days?

8. Implement and use employee referral programs

Referrals are proven to be best employees! Referrals can improve your time, cost and quality of hire, and make your hiring strategy much more productive. Yet, many companies still don’t have developed strategies for employee referrals.This is another great way to use your current employee to help you find the best people. To start, use these referral email templates for recruiters, and start engaging your employees today!

GetApp‘s survey has proven that employee referrals take shortest to hire, and bring the highest quality job applicants.

If you don’t have ideas about how to reward good referrals, here’s our favorite list of ideas for employee referral rewards.

For more details about finding the right candidates, here is our 2018 guide for finding high-quality talent.

Men at work: Growing awareness of sexual harassment has turned the focus of our conversation about women on the men in the room

In my line of work I frequently find myself in conversation about the role of women in the workplace. These conversations often gloss over the role of men in our workplace experience—but in our “Weinstein moment” it’s clear that we are in a sea change. Thought leaders are increasingly reframing the corporate feminist discussion to highlight that the systems that characterize our work experiences are still primarily defined by the way men operate within them.

I see specific examples of this in two recent threads of conversation: Talk about men’s role as allies who will call out harassment, and talk about how men have molded environments in which it is twice as hard for women to get ahead.

In her first post for her new LinkedIn series on diversity, Melinda Gates highlights what she sees as the central detractor from women’s economic advancement: our culture of overwork. Gates characterizes the norm of overwork as a definitively male contribution to workplace culture.  

The blog’s title is “We’re sending our daughters into a workplace designed for our dads”. She sets up her argument with an image from a 1949 advertisement in Fortune magazine depicting jobs held by its quintessential readership: the Office Manager, the Vice President, the President—all male with female assistants taking notes in the background.

She goes on to unpack all the ways that office culture was shaped and formed by the fact that men had full time home managers for partners, as well as female assistants to do the administration work.

The Fortune ad’s inclusion of “Office Manager” as an archetype of male leader and Fortune reader is worth noting. Today the office manager is an emblem of occupational segregation—and perhaps what happens to a role that gets relegated the administrative and “housework” functions of an office: it becomes more female-dominated and less well paid. (GlassDoor says the average salary of a Bay Area office manager is $50K.)

The role our office managers play today is also a clear example of our tech industry’s reliance on overwork. Ten years ago an office would have separate roles for receptionist, office operations manager, executive assistant. Today I see more and more small businesses loading all these tasks onto one person; and despite consolidating a number of roles into one we still expect to pay them less.

Gates does a great service to call out the ways our offices send “you don’t belong here” signals to women—and it is refreshing to hear a critique not on ways we need to repair the pipeline, or admonish women to lean in a little harder, but instead narrows its focus on ways the leaders already in these jobs need to change the status quo.

This topic is close to my heart and mission at Talent Sonar, and if you’re interested in it as well you should join our webinar discussion on it tomorrow 11/14 with AnitaB.org.

Now that women make up 47% of the workforce, they should also exert half of the influence over what our workplaces look like and how they function. Gates argues that will require curbing and correcting the number of hours we expect of workers. It also will require more men in power to act as allies to women.  In an Oct. 13 Harvard Business Review article “Lots of Men Are Gender-Equality Allies in Private. Why Not in Public?”, David Smith and Brad Johnson set guideposts and examples men who want to be allies should follow.

The professors argue that the rate of sexual harassment is so high in workplaces for the same reason we lack equal pay, parental leave and equitable hiring and promotion practices: “Women lack genuine male allies in the workplace”.

They explain that even men who deeply value gender equality may be hesitant to speak up when they see inappropriate behavior because of our tendency to conform to whatever the group is doing. Men will often look for the woman in the room’s reaction as the cue for how or when to intervene. A woman often doesn’t interject because they are more likely to be penalized or face backlash for doing so.

For this reason Smith and Johnson say we must reframe gender equality as a leadership issue rather than a “women’s issue.” Its executives’ jobs to create a safe work environment that allows workers to flourish. When leaders allow harassment, bias and bullying to seep into a workplace, employees exhibit reduced psychological safety, take more sick leave, have lower morale and less productivity, and they are less engaged and more likely to leave the company or not have positive bottom-line impact.

In other words, a male leader of integrity is not only expected to advocate for women and champion diversity, but they also must act to correct and stop sexist and racist behavior.  

Human Resource Outsourcing Trends for the Future

Human Resource Outsourcing Trends for the Future

HR people around the world cannot keep their findings together and decide whether outsourcing is something that should be done at all costs or is it better to keep all your jobs in-house. The research and surveys being done have not yet provided conclusive evidence for either of these options, but, the trends in the world seem to gravitate towards outsourcing, as more and more companies find talent and skill elsewhere and are ready for it.

Add to that the ever-present necessity to save money, and you get companies outsourcing in less-developed countries, where sufficient (and even great) skill can be found for significantly less.

Over the course of the previous years, a few trends in outsourcing have emerged and these are the ones we think you should pay attention to in the future.

Keep switching to the cloud

Keep switching to the cloud

With outsourcing being so widespread, switching to the cloud seems like the only clever option, since the majority of your work isn’t between your colleagues anymore. The people you outsource the job to need quick access to the data that is relevant to them, while you can be sure that the cloud security will protect the information that is stored. This way, you can outsource a job to an HR company that is miles away from you, even on another continent, and still have the work done efficiently as if they were in the next room.

Selective outsourcing

Selective outsourcing

I mentioned in the beginning that the HR community is unsure whether outsourcing or in-house jobs are better. Well, this is something in between. Selective outsourcing means that you will assess the skills available in-house and then outsource in the fields that you find lacking.

For example, if you are an engineering company and have a lot of talented architects, you are not going to outsource architectural services, but you might need help with data mining and analysis, as architects are not really good data miners. And that’s the whole point – play to your strengths in-house, and outsource what you don’t have the skills for.

Use of social media as a recruiting and driving tool

Use of social media as a recruiting and driving tool

Social media is everywhere, and by it I don’t mean only Facebook and Instagram. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the platforms focused on business – platforms like LinkedIn – where the sole purpose of member profiles is to show their professional skill and talents that they have. This makes it easier for HR personnel to seek potential new employees, as their CVs are already there, as well as their past experiences.

Also, the use of other social networks makes it easier to plan and organize, with groups, group chats, and specialized social networks for work organization all allowing faster communication between the employer and the employees.

Being in line with the current trends of globalization, outsourcing is definitely here to stay. And, since that is the case, if you have a need for outsourcing in the future, be sure to follow these trends. Like I said, HR professionals are still unsure whether outsourcing is a good thing, but in my past experiences, it has shown to be extremely valuable to business owners, if done right.

8 Best Practices to Protect Your Enterprise Network

How can an outsourced payroll provider reduce the strain of GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply not only to any company based in the EU, but also to any business that processes the personal data of EU citizens regardless of where they are situated. With GDPR less than seven months away, we all know it’s coming – but what does it mean for payroll departments?  Businesses need to carefully consider this question ahead of the May deadline, and look at ways to ease the strain on their organisations overall.

Here’s four key GDPR payroll challenges, and how an outsourced provider can help:

Soothing the compliance headache

Payroll is driven by local legislation, and businesses need to ensure these laws (for example those under GDPR) are followed in whichever regions they operate in, to ensure peace of mind. With an outsourced payroll provider, you don’t have to become an expert in each region in terms of governance and compliance. Instead, you can rely on that provider to ensure you remain compliant, whatever the legislation and in whichever region – GDPR or otherwise.

Outsourced payroll providers understand that achieving the right balance between the local and global aspects involved in payroll, in terms of ensuring compliance with all local market legislation—including GDPR—while optimising the efficiency benefits that a global offering can deliver, can be done by building systems with a global outlook and local knowledge in mind: a modern-day, bottom up payroll services approach.

Improving Accuracy and Reliability

Payroll mistakes can be extremely detrimental to any organisation. The pressure to avoid such mistakes increases with the strain of GDPR. Unless you have an automated system and fully trained, capable payroll staff, who are more than adept to deal with complex regulations in place, your payroll department will probably end up making the occasional mistake.

By making the mistake of failing to comply with GDPR, you risk angering not only the government but your employees too, who will be far from impressed to know you are handling their data incorrectly. In addition, you could be looking at fines of up to 4% of your total annual revenue. With a reputable outsourced payroll service provider, you are far less likely to become the victim of an error, including one related to GDPR non-compliance, than handling payroll processes in-house.

While your staff may be highly skilled, there is always the chance that one of them will fall sick or be on holiday. Even the slightest change to routine can cause problems for payroll departments: it’s essential to ensure that organisational output remains unaffected. Outsourcing payroll is a guaranteed way to ensure nothing changes, regardless of time off. It also saves huge amounts of time and provides peace of mind, simply because you won’t have to help new members of staff get to grips with your payroll system, or go through the processes of helping them to understand how GDPR affects payroll processes.

Staying secure

Organisations hold the details of personnel online in all offices, potentially all over the world, thus potentially exposing themselves to all sorts of sophisticated cyber-attacks. With financial data being a core part of payroll department records, it’s essential that every element of your business is prepared and able to robustly defend itself against attacks. To do so, your business needs to implement the right infrastructure: some companies simply don’t have the resources to ensure details are kept safe. Outsourcing to a payroll service means you’ll be benefitting from industry specific technologies which are able to prevent such attacks from occurring. When it comes to GDPR, organisations will have a 72-hour window in which to notify authorities of a breach: but with an outsourced payroll provider, you stand a much better chance of avoiding them happening in your payroll department altogether.

Minimising costs

It goes without saying that organisations look to save costs wherever they can, particularly if they are looking to expand globally (globalisation is expensive). With the risk of paying out hefty fines if they fail to comply with new GDPR laws, companies can’t afford to make unnecessary costs elsewhere, or make mistakes. By outsourcing, businesses can allow for the appropriate level to be paid in a lower cost location. Combined with the savings which come from consolidation and automation, a company will be much better placed to move forward with expansion, in addition to ensuring compliance with GDPR.

Organisations need to recognise payroll services as a key part of their journey to GDPR compliance: the regulation can appear daunting and complex; therefore, outsourcing can be a beneficial option to any organisation that is preparing for GDPR, and looking to improve overall processes. By relying on the expertise of a reputable payroll provider, businesses can ease the overall strain of GDPR by soothing the compliance headache and improving payroll accuracy, reliability and security. With the right provider, you can relax in the knowledge that you are in safe hands when it comes to achieving total GDPR compliance in your payroll department.

Don’t have an employee referral program? Here’s why you should!

Employee Referral Program guide

Many HR professionals keep saying that Employee Referral Programs are your best bet for improving the most important hiring metrics such as time to hire, cost per hire, employee retention and turnover rate and quality of hire. Do you have a structured employee referral program?

What exactly are employee referral programs?

Research has proved many times that referrals make the best employees in many ways: they take shortest to hire, they require least money and they stay longest with companies.

Unlike sourcing, employee referral programs are internal methods used for finding and hiring high-quality job applicants.

How can companies benefit from having Employee Referral Programs?

Many of you already know that finding talent is one the the biggest, if not the biggest, recruiting challenges. Trying to solve that problem, many modern recruiters have started involving their existing employees in the process of recruiting and hiring.

Soon after trying this method out, employee referral programs have become one of the favorite and most productive methods for finding talent.

Trends of data-driven recruiting have resulted in the need for optimizing the most important hiring metrics. Since employee referral programs are known to reduce time and cost to hire and improve retention and quality of hire, many recruiters have turn to referrals looking to improve their hiring productivity.

How can Employee Referrals improve quality of hire?

In companies with structured employee referral programs, existing employees are involved in recruiting processes by suggesting candidates from their networks.

Because your existing employees know best who your ideal candidate, or candidate persona, is they are the ones with the biggest potential to recommend candidates who make the best cultural fit for your company.

How can Employee Referrals reduce turnover rates and improve employee retention?

Employee retention is highly related to quality of hire. The better the quality of hire, the better employee retention.

If you hire someone who is not a good fit, they will leave sooner. Candidates that come from other sources such as job boards, don’t know about you as an employee as much as candidates who talk to your current employees.

In addition, there is a lot of interesting research that proves that employees who have successfully referred a candidate for an open position, stay longer with the company than employees that haven’t.

How can Employee Referrals reduce time and cost to hire?

Time to hire and cost per hire are highly related HR metrics. Hiring referrals is much easier because recruiters not only get candidates’ contact information, but also go through he whole selection and on boarding process, making it much shorter.

Faster selection process also improves a new very important HR metric- Candidate Experience.

Shorter time to hire also reduces cost per hire. Labor expenses get lower and much less human hours are needed to fill a position. Less time spent on selection and on-boarding, usually means more time devoted to strengthening relationships with candidates forming high-quality talent pools.

How can Employee Referrals strengthen Employer Brand?

According to research done by LinkedIn more than 75% of candidates read about your company’s brand and reputation before they hit “apply”.

When you engage your employees and ask them to refer, they talk to the candidates first. Trust me, these are mostly nice words about you as an employer and your Employee Value Proposition.

Job seekers trust employees’ words much more than brands’ or CEOs’ words. This is why your employees are your best advocates.

Steps for creating a successful Employee Referral program

Step 1. Understand your own goals

Think about what referrals mean to your current and your future employees. Empowering your employees can be a very good way for engaging them and making them more motivated and productive.

Most companies who use referrals use them because they have proven to be the best fit for their companies. In this case, make sure to communicate the most important parts of your organizational culture to your existing employees. Make sure that they understand who exactly are you looking for.

Step 2. Write a clear job description

Even though your employees may know the requirements for the open position, it is important that you make sure that they do. Same as you write clear and precise job descriptions for job boards, you should also share them with your employees.The better they know the requirements, the better chances for finding the perfect fit.

Step 3. Make the process organized and streamlined

For companies who use recruiting tools such as Applicant Tracking System, employee referral programs are effortless and incredibly simple. This is important because the harder it is for employee to refer someone, the lower response rate will be.

To save your time, you can use our HR resources page to get referral email templates such as:

Step 4: Make sure to have a well-organized Employee Referral Bonus program

When we talk to HR professionals about employee referral bonus programs, they often think of something very expensive. However, there are many other ways, different than money, that you can incentivise good referrals with.

Also, rewards for a successful referral can not be the same as for providing a contact to a potential candidates.

You can do something like this:

  • Give a $10 gift card for a name or contact
  • Give $200 when they start
  • Give $700 after they have been with company for at least 3 months

Here is the list of some most popular Employee Referral reward ideas.

Step 5: Give feedback and communicate with referees

Many employers ignore this step. However, I consider it as a base for a successful long-term Employee Referral program.

A research done by LinkedIn showed that 8 out of 10 employees who referred a candidate expected a feedback if their candidate got hired. It is very possible that, if you ignore this step, employees get less engaged or stop referring completely.

Step 6: Measure your program

Measuring is first step towards improving! That being said, it is important to measure your employee referral program to understand what works well and what doesn’t. There are many HR metrics that are great indicators of your productivity and efficiency.

It is beneficial to measure the participation rate. If your rate is low, this means that you are not incentivizing enough or with the right types of bonuses. Remember, for some employees recognition means more than money.

Avoid Making A Bad Hiring Decision With The Assistance Of Technology

rawpixel-com-323215 (1)A bad hiring decision can put a strain on a company financially with bad decisions, according to CV-Library, costing UK businesses losses of up to £15,000 (per hire). Due to the time and resources being invested into various different stages of the recruiting process. Unfortunately, these mistakes are at times inevitable and companies often feel the pinch of taking on board a bad hire. However, there are possible technological solutions that recruiters and hiring managers can adopt in order to reduce this risk and in the future make more effective hiring decisions.

Candidate screening

At times as many as 75% of applicants are underqualified for a given job role. Without the usage of hiring technology, it can result in recruiters spending a high proportion of their time sorting through applications and disregarding those unspecific to the position. If this is not done correctly, human error can ultimately affect the quality of hire and increases the chances of recruiting a ‘bad hire’.

Automated candidate screening reduces the reliance on a recruiter having to manually narrow down applications and instead this initial decision-making stage is managed with the addition of hiring technology. This type of automation works by filtering through CVs/resumes to determine the best fit for a specific role. Which can be dependent on different factors such as, experience, skills and qualifications. The applications are then narrowed down and the recruiter or hiring manager is presented with the most appropriate candidates to whom match the job requirements. By depending less on human evaluation to reduce high volumes of job applications, the risk of letting qualified candidates slip through the recruitment process is reduced. Saving the hiring professional valuable time to which they can reinvest back into other aspects of their profession.

Reconsider existing talent

High-quality candidates can often get overlooked, particularly those already existing within a talent database. These job seekers may have been unsuccessful for a previous role but their details are still stored and ‘kept on file’ but then are not made use of for future roles. Job-seekers have become tired of hearing this phrase after failing to land a job. However, this term can be taken to a new literal sense, with the addition of hiring technology.

New opportunities can be open up for existing candidates who failed to secure a previous role, enabling the recruiter to reconnect with the job seekers and find hidden talent already existing within their database. Which saves time and can find candidates who are already qualified for the role. This in turn, can improve the quality of hire, as these candidates may have a previously applied for a similar role and therefore already have the desired skill set and experience for the specific role.

Unconscious bias

In recruitment, there is always a risk of hiring decisions being made with influence from an unconscious bias. This is due to a perceived perception and notion regarding a candidate’s characteristics that may affect their job chances. Creating an unfair advantage or disadvantage to those applying for a role. Recruiting an individual with a biased thought process is likely to cloud the recruiter’s decision and their skills and experience may become secondary. This can easily result in a bad hiring decision, if their ability to do the job is not prioritised.

CiiVSOFT creates recruitment automation tools for talent acquisition, to help save costs and streamline hiring. Find out more here.